Diversity on Supervisory Boards

November 2021 marked the publication of the first report in Poland diagnosing the reasons for low level of appointment of women as supervisory board members by domestic institutional investors. The survey "Diversity on Supervisory Boards 2021" was conducted at the initiative of 30% Club Poland Investor Group, a group of domestic institutional investors supporting the Club's activities. Investor Group in Poland consists of: Aegon PTE, NN Investment Partners TFI and Noble Funds TFI. The authors of the report are: Milena Olszewska-Miszuris, member of the Association, and dr Anna Golec. Ewa Radkowska-Świętoń, the Association’s President, is the Ambassador of the 30% Club Poland campaign.

The majority of domestic institutional investors’ representatives recognise the problem of low diversity in the governing bodies of Polish listed companies. Only less than 15% of respondents believe that the boards of directors at those companies are diverse in terms of competence and gender. 50% of the respondents take into account the broadly understood diversity of corporate boards (gender, competences, experience, age, etc.) in their investment decisions. 1/3 of respondents consider the board gender diversity indicator when incorporating ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) criteria into their decision-making.

However, institutional investors rarely nominate women for supervisory board members – only one in ten respondents does so regularly. The most frequently cited reasons for the occasional nomination of women by their organisations are: that women are less active than men in promoting their candidatures and do not promote themselves sufficiently (this option was chosen by 25% of respondents) and that in the nomination process an organisation uses its own candidate pool, which includes women who meet the required criteria, yet there are too few of them and they already sit on supervisory boards of other portfolio companies (23% of respondents).

Among the key actions that could increase women's chances of board appointments, respondents cited: increasing the pool of women present in their databases (38% of respondents), the opportunity to personally contact and meet more candidates (27% of respondents) and gaining access to a database of qualified candidates maintained by an external entity (17% of respondents).

We invite you to read the report: